For generations, economic theory has “rightly promised that global trade expands national wealth by lowering the price of goods, lifting wages and amplifying growth,” says The New York Times. The powers that emerged victorious from World War II saw globalization as the antidote to future conflicts. In Asia, Europe and North America, governments of every ideology have focused on trade as their guiding economic force.
But trade comes with no assurances that the benefits will be shared equally. And across much of the industrialized world, “an outsize share of the winnings have been harvested by people with advanced degrees, stock options and the need for accountants,” says the Times.
Ordinary laborers have been on the receiving end of joblessness and deepening economic anxiety.
These costs have been overwhelming in communities that depend on industry for sustenance, vastly exceeding what economists anticipated. Policymakers believing in neoliberal economic philosophy thought markets could be trusted to bolster social welfare.
So when millions of workers lost paychecks to foreign competition, they lacked government supports to cushion the blow. As a result, anger is upending politics in Europe and North America.
Trade deals, plus immigrant labor and robots.